Forcing Hyacinths Indoors

Hi Lovelies,

Now is the time to buy bulbs for the winter. These packages of four were on sale for less than a dollar at my local hardware store, so I didn’t hesitate to grab a few before heading to the checkout.

With winter around the corner, and big bags of bulbs going on sale – it’s time to think about picking up some hyacinths to force over winter. Hyacinths require a cold period, therefore, you have to plan a little bit in advance if you want to see those fragrant blooms inside when there’s a foot of snow on the ground.

Forcing hyacinths is relatively simple, in fact, even I was able to do so successfully on the first try. To begin, I needed a hyacinth glass or vase. I searched all over the place locally and couldn’t find any. I looked online, but they seemed a little too expensive – plus, it seems like anytime I order anything that’s glass off the internet, it arrives broken. In my true cheap fashion, I simply used a soda bottle and arranged it so that bulb sat perfectly atop the container. I don’t recommend this, as it was obviously not very appealing and I needed to be really careful while creating the opening.

Next, I filled the bottle/vase up with water until the level was just below the round disk-like base of the bulb (not touching). This is where roots will begin to form later. I stuck my bulb/bottle combo into an old fridge (totally don’t recommend it) that sits in the garage without food in it. While the fridge isn’t the optimal place, it worked fine as my only alternative. I don’t think I’d ever stick my bulbs in the same fridge as my food. Places like basements, cellars, and garages which remain around 40F degrees seem to be the best option.

Forced bulbs in the window of my dirty garage. By forcing, I was able to make a fresh bouquet in January! Tulip on the left, hyacinth on the right. You’ll notice that the roots have completely filled the soda bottle. This happened during the time the bulb was being chilled.

After several weeks (about ten), I checked on my hyacinths and found that roots had begun to fill the container. A few weeks later, growth began to appear from the top of the bulb and it was time to bring the container out into indirect light. Growth continued and I got to enjoy gorgeous pink flowers!

Have you ever forced hyacinths? How do you do it?

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